Getting Personal Online: My Interview With Susan Bratton
Join thousands of fellow marketers (including Susan) for five days of marketing education and conversation! ClickZ Connected Marketing Week, August 16-20, in San Francisco!
1) Please give us your background and tell us what you do for a living.
As the CEO of Personal Life Media, Inc., I am a publisher of eBooks focused on your personal and professional growth. We call them “eBooks with Benefits” because our downloadable books and membership sites typically consist of pdf’s in the form of books and workbooks, plus audio and video companion files.
I spend most of my time deciding what to publish, managing the production of the content, selecting and managing the talent (our experts) and writing all the marketing copy for the landing pages, email relationships, online ads et cetera.
We publish titles ranging from Speak Up with Power and Influence to Expanded Lovemaking to The Meaning Solution: Creating Purpose, Power & Passion.
In addition, I have my own online products, Talk Show Tips, Masterful Interviews and my weekly show and blog, DishyMix, on which I interview famous people in the digital marketing industry in an entertaining talk show style format.
Note: Readers can use promo code DISHY to save up to half off any product if you’d like to include that.
2) What percentage of your marketing includes SEM, Social, Email etc?
The most cash outlay goes to PPC, we spend a lot of our precious time focused on SEM, growing our email databases and managing the relationships we create with consumers for each of our brands has begun to be of ever increasing importance and I personally use social media to promote my brand and to teach my experts how to promote themselves.
3) How do you break it down?
Between SEM/Social/Email it’s probably 33% equally. They work together as the best triumvirate for a small brand with big aspirations. We also leverage affiliate and JV marketing extensively to promote our products and pay up to 50% revenue through our affiliate network, RevShareNow.
4) How do you use blogging to generate more awareness for your business?
I use Twitter to generate the most awareness for all of our brands through our PersonalLife Twitter account, and I use my blog DishyMix to promote not only all of our products, but my own particularly.
I use syndication tools to radiate my blog posts across my social accounts. The tools I prefer are SocialOomph to pre-schedule and manage my Twitter and Facebook posts in advance. I use the Mobypicture application for my photo blogging and Tweeting. I’m an avid photographer and believe that pictures are the most valuable medium for creating excitement (video is nice, but takes too much time for most of my busy followers). I post a LOT of pics from my iPhone that go directly to my blog and to my Twitter accounts and get posted both to my Facebook newsfeed and to my photos section automatically with one click of a button with Mobypicture. Both SocialOomph and Mobypicture are major timesaver for me. I try to create content that is sharable, so I get as many retweets and comments as possible. The blog is the core of my “opinion sharing.”
5) Do you have an online community for your brand?
Definitely not! I’m against custom online communities for all but the most loyal or niche of brands. I am on the board of Powered, Inc., a company that has built some of the biggest online communities. So don’t get me wrong, I think certain brands can use custom online communities as vital part of their crm and growth strategy! But for most brands, including my own, I say, “fish where the fish are.” I know enough to keep my ego in check and go to my customers, instead of expecting them to go to me.
6) What insider technique can you share that you think other small businesses don’t know about but could really help them?
The notion of content syndication. Bernie Borges of Find and Convert really taught me to think this way. He believes all brands are publishers now. That because of search optimization, we all need to get content out on the web, whether via article syndication, participation on sites like Squidoo or a myriad other options, distributing your expertise via content is the name of the game.
It doesn’t have to be difficult. Look, I post one image from my phone and it goes to my blog, 6 Twitter accounts and my personal Facebook page and my DishyMix Fan Page (I invite you to “like” me on the DishyMix page, as I give away all kinds of great schwag and free autographed books from my guests constantly.) with the push of a button using Moby’s syndication. It’s not hard to be in a lot of places simultaneously with content.
And, for companies that have a hard time figuring out what they should do in social media, I recently created a free social media strategy framework. It helps any company or individual brand go through the thought process for zeroing in on what they specifically should do to create their unique social strategy. Anyone can get it for free at http://socialmediasuperpowers.com
The last thing I will bring to your attention as a small biz owner is the idea of integrating social platforms into your business at an enterprise level. My friend, Dave Evans, author of Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day (excellent book!) is coming out with a new book, focused on social business strategies and this is a burgeoning new area of massive growth potential for small businesses. Those on the vanguard of integrating social into their internal organizations, including supply chains and other stakeholders are going to pull ahead in the global economy. Keep an eye out for that. Of course, I’ll be interviewing Dave on DishyMix the minute the book launches.
Just like search engine marketing, the new area of marketing any business owner must become facile with is social marketing/networking. It’s changing the entire way business is conducted. Those early in to leveraging the capabilities will be the winners.